You must pass the driver theory test before applying for a first learner permit.. If your provisional licence or /learner permit expired 5 years ago, then you must pass the theory test again before a learner permit will be issued.
EU legislation governing this area requires that citizens undergo a practical test of their knowledge of the rules of the road and motoring legislation.
Minimum age and driver theory test
There are specific minimum ages at which you may hold a learner permit for certain vehicles in Ireland. For example, drivers of Category A1 vehicles (i.e., certain motorcycles) must be at least 16 years of age to obtain a provisional licence. Drivers of Category B vehicles (i.e., certain cars) must be at least 17 years to hold a first provisional licence.
Theory Test FAQ
Q. Who has to do the test?
A.Anyone who applies for a first provisional licence after April 2001 has to do the theory test.
Q. How many classes of theory test are there?
A.There are four classes of test:
Mopeds and Motorcycles – (categories A, A1 and M)
Cars – (B, EB and W)
Rigid & Artic Trucks – (C, C1, EC and EC1)
Minibus & Coaches – (D, D1, ED and ED1)
Q. What does the test entail?
There are 40 questions in the test and candidates have to answer 35 questions correctly to be successful. You have 45 minutes to answer the 40 questions in the test.
The test is taken using a touch screen computerised system. Candidates select their answers by touching the computer screen. A practice session can be undertaken before you take the actual test so that you can get used to the system. You don’t need to be computer literate in any way.
If you wish to complete your test through Irish, this can be facilitated at your test centre and during your test.
The test is scored automatically and results are made available to you immediately. You will receive a pass certificate for your theory test at the test centre.
Q. How many questions are in the test?
A.The questions you will be asked in your driver theory test are based on the Rules of the Road and current road traffic legislation in Ireland. The Driver Theory Testing Service has a bank of 1,250 questions. For each test, a random selection of 40 questions will be used from the question bank.
This means for example that if you fail the test and have to re-sit, it is unlikely you will be asked the same questions again. From 21 October 2006 new test questions have been added to the question bank.
Q. What if I am unhappy with the result of the test?
A.If you are unhappy with the result of your theory test, you have the right to appeal this decision. Speak to the Driver Theory Test supervisor before leaving the test centre. You may also fill out an appeal form, available at each of the Driver Theory Test Centres.
Your application form requests that your test is re-marked. You must:
Make your appeal within ten working days of your test
Enclose the appropriate fee.
When your appeal is received, your test will be re-marked and you will receive the result within five working days. Your test will not be re-marked by staff in the test centre where you conducted your test. Instead, the Theory Test Centre head office will review your test and conduct the re-marking.
If it emerges that the original marking was incorrect your fee will be refunded and your theory test certificate will be issued.